Believe it or not, there are some quarantining life hacks that can make this entire Coronavirus experience much better… or without them, simply dreadful.
When the initial news wave of fear hit in late February/early March, it was difficult to find toilet paper and even more challenging to avoid Googling “Coronavirus” every 15 minutes.
I quickly realized I had two options:
- I could freak myself out and possibly reduce my immune system and make things even worse
- I could focus on ONLY the things I could control and do my best to forget what I couldn't.
This is why I decided to write an article containing 7 essential quarantining life hacks to help you not only figuratively survive the Coronavirus Pandemic, but THRIVE!
Josh's Quick Take:
Hey, it's been a long time since I wrote a heart to heart blog post!
With all the news surrounding the current pandemic, I felt like this would be a great time to spread some joy, provide some quick financial advice and hopefully offer some mental survival hacks.
I am sure at this point your email inbox has been flooded with emails from every company, your social media feeds are full of crap, and you might even feel like pulling your hair out.
Additionally, if you want to read my perspective of some of the challenges we have personally dealt with, you can read this awesome article I contributed to discussing what it's like being married to a professional in the healthcare system!
My take: Use some of these quarantining life hacks to make the most of your present situation! I hope you enjoy, ~Josh!
1. Stay off Google (No Really)
I won’t lie, I completely freaked myself out when all this Covid-19 stuff went down on March 12th.
When the announcement was made that schools were closed for indefinitely, I was completely caught off guard. I stumbled on to this article about how the pandemic is going to “Overwhelm our medical system” and my brain went to all the “What if” worse-case scenarios.
I made a deal with myself from that moment on:
“Josh stay off Google, it’s not going to help you.”
Media companies are capitalizing more on this then the toilet paper and hand sanitizer manufacturers.
All the clicks and floods of visitors trying to figure out everything isn’t helping you, it’s helping them. Now is the time to remain calm and positive. It’s best to do the following:
- Wash your hands – duh.
- Stay away from sick people – duh.
- You need 90 days of TP max – not 30 years.
- Be mindful of the elderly, maybe call neighbors or family and ask if you can help them get stuff.
- Google local news for your area only and no more than 1x per day – at the most!
- Don't pretend to be a medical expert because you read an article from the NewMexico.Uk.Blogspot Medical Journal… in other words avoid all the click baity headlines!
2. Ok, Only Google Memes & Funny Stuff
That being said, if you’re gonna Google, make sure you Google funny stuff that makes you happy.
From playing with your neighbors Bluetooth settings when they're too loud:
Or looking at countless Tiger King & Coronavirus Memes:
To seeing the creative ways people cope & avoid the Coronavirus while in public:
To all my people saying part of quarantining is supporting small businesses:
These are the real quarantining life hacks we should have been told about. From DIY masks to shopping hacks, you're welcome!
3. Don’t adjust your money plans.
Money is the second biggest concern for many, after health (which should always be #1!)
Words of advice: Don’t freak out, even as hard as it may be not to do so.
Of course, there will be a drop in your 401K, individual stocks, and there will be job lay-offs. During times like these, it’s best to simply stay the course. Don’t sell, (we will cover buying in a second) and don’t panic.
- If you were paying off debt, keep doing so or temporarily pause.
- If you were investing, keep doing so, but perhaps look into stock index funds.
- If you were not doing anything, for now, keep doing just that – nothing.
Remember, everything always bounces back. That being said, there are some who are worried about their paychecks and what to do if they can’t work because of the Coronavirus. I get it, that can be scary.
Here are a few quick tips only if you’re worried about your paycheck:
- Reduce what you use for the next 3-4 weeks until things pass/sort out
- Refrain from any extra shopping or eating out
- Consider using your emergency fund if necessary
- DO NOT cash out 401K, reverse mortgage house or take out a loan!
What about investing?
Some people will want to buy during these times. I am not a huge stock guy (so I can’t give any advice), but my gut is to say now is not the time to become Mr. Investor overnight – remember to stay the course.
Unless you want to spend 8-10 hours a week learning how stocks work, I would suggest contributing money into your Vanguard brokerage account. Why Vangurad?
Well, because I never write about things I don't actually use. Dollar-cost averaging is one of the most sound investments you can make – and I do this monthly with stock index funds. Just start with $300 a month.
If you really want to invest:
However, in talking with a few people, the goal of investing is to always buy low, sell high. Below you will find the stocks that were recommended to me with their 6-month high and what they’re at as of March/APril
- BA Boeing: 380 to 170 (6-month track)
- LHX 230 to 170
- Disney 140 to 100
- Bank of America 35 to 24
- Carnival 40 to 17 (in one month)
- Uber 28 to 22 (this month)
- Spy 338 to 270
- Delphi 90 to 60
*I am not a financial planner, I was just eyeballing these as long holds*
What about stimulus checks?
To complete surprise, we got stimulus checks as I was writing this post!
I guess they went off our tax returns and since we have W2's in addition to multiple side-hustles housed under an LLC, our combined income for all grouped together resulted in a stimulus check.
So what did we do with it? We added to our emergency fund!
What should you do with your stimulus check? I don't know your situation, but it should look something like this:
- Food & Shelter (always first)
- Save if there is job uncertainty
- Don't buy anything (yet)
- Invest only if you're sure of 1 & 2 being taken care of first
See what these financial experts said about stimulus checks.
4. Use this time off to finally do something you have wanted to do.
If in the event you’re working from home or stuck at home with kids, use this time to finally get some things done around your house or even better start a side hustle!
- Clean your house and do some spring cleaning (No better time than now to clean)
- Build a pallet wall or shiplap wall in your house (that is what I am doing in my bathroom)
- Get my side hustle guide here and start working on your side hustle finally!
You will be amazed at what you can accomplish if you were to start a side hustle like a blog or media company in one month. Now is the time to take the leap of faith.
To help you, below is a copy of my side hustle ACTION guide, keyword action!
5. Practice Gratitude.
During times like these, it’s best to always practice gratitude! Be thankful for you health, your job, your spouse, your family, your kids, your pets, your cell phone, and the fact that you’re in America and no matter what anyone tries to say, you’re in the best place as far as healthcare systems go!
Staying positive is key. No one really knows what is to come or how serious (or maybe not as serious) the pandemic is.
Practicing gratitude is the key to staying the course and remaining calm!
6. Create Positive Work From Home Habits
Working from home could be something you have done in the past, or in my scenario (teacher) you only dreamed of.
That being said, WFH can lead to some very destructive habits. Just look at one of the latest Forbes articles on American habits during the quarantine…
Now is not the time to create poor habits, but instead create really, really good habits to build off of!
Instead of the guy above, really, really absorb this:
Jesse from Best Interest recommended this when working from home:
To add, try habit stacking and making sure you start building positive habits and structure around your day:
- [Existing routine] + [New habit] + [New habit]
- [Coffee] + [Write top 5 to do] + [20 air squats]
- Build on as you master
Additionally, avoid time-wasters like these. Instead of spending MORE time on social media, be mindful of watching too much TV or spending too much time on TikTok.
Instead, read a book, or two, or three! Here is a list of some of my favorite books.
7. Find the silver lining!
Last but not least, find the silver lining in everything in life, no matter what!
It is so easy (and so typical) to focus 100% of our energy on the negative during times like these. Negative news sells. Personally, I have found very few media releases offering simple wisdom to ease our natural inclination to default negative.
However, the best advice of all might simply be, “Relax, it will be all be OK!”
Most articles are scary click-baity articles, so remember #1 – STAY OFF GOOGLE!
The silver lining might be this:
- People decide to get their health in check (aside from just washing hands)
- The trend of “Me first” trends the opposite direction into helping others more than ourselves
- Politicians stop worrying so much about themselves/party and start helping people again
- Practicing cutting my own hair for 2-years will pay dividends if I can’t get my hair cut
- You can finally grow a beard if you have to shave for work
- People will finally stop lifestyle inflating and start saving
- Emergency funds will be taken more seriously
- People will take their debt more seriously
I won't lie, this coronavirus thing sucks.
People dying of Covid-19 while could be less than car wrecks or whatever, is in ADDITION to all the other causes of death. And when one person dies of something we should all recognize the seriousness.
Having a wife working the front lines is scary, I won't lie. But I am amazed by her willingness to learn everything she can each night about Coronavirus to help her patients.
I am proud of all the people who are doing their part from working in the medical field to keeping grocery stores stocked. So if you're reading this and you're wondering how you can contribute, my last piece of advice is simple:
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and many more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their newborn son, their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! In case you were wondering, Josh uses Personal Capital to track his net worth and his first investment account ever was an Acorns account 😎